During the start of the season, Barcelona and their current shirt sponsor Qatar Airways had disputes. This gave rise to rumors that Barcelona won’t be wearing shirts with Qatar Airways written on it. Despite all the disputes, the 2 parties carried on somehow for the current season. But the club’s representatives never ended their hunt for a new sponsor. Finally, an answer to all the worries for the club as Barcelona and Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten signs a shirt sponsor deal. Barcelona Rakuten sponsorship deal could make Barcelona the richest club, surpassing their arch rivals Real Madrid.
The Barcelona Rakuten sponsorship deal signed for $58 million a year. This is one of the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in football and could raise Barcelona’s rank amongst the world’s richest club. The deal is signed for 4 years and Barcelona will wear the jerseys with “Rakuten” written on it since the start of the 2017/18 season. This complete deal will pay the Catalans a total of $188 million. Barcelona could earn addition funds if they succeed in winning European and Spanish titles during this time frame.
During briefing the press regarding the deal, Josep Maria Bartomeu gave credit to Gerard Pique. The Barcelona centre-back organized a dinner in San Francisco. He invited Barcelona representatives and the chairman of Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani to begin the negotiation over a possible deal. A successful 4 years deal was finalized. The deal could extend to the 5th year and will be handy for Barcelona’s current Camp Nou extension project.
Rakuten is one of the most money-making firms in the world. They have almost 13000 staff working in Japan. In 2016, the firm has a turnover of £15bn over the first nine months. This deal could be extremely beneficial for Barcelona in terms of financial comfort, and also for Rakuten as they will get recognition around the Europe as well.